It’s been close to a year since the ICO boom of 2017 was in full swing. Like many other crypto nerds, I was a kid in a candy store going through dozens of white papers, hours and hours of podcasts, and the fun stuff. Actually narrowing down and accumulating the coins or tokens of the projects I found most desirable. Given the popularity of articles pointing out how many projects have already failed, I think it’s about time to look back at my choices and the thinking that went into making them to see if they still hold water and have shown progress.
The Wild West days of anything goes ICO sales will surely continue in some of the purely decentralized eco-systems, but tighter regulation and more conservative professional investment will likely drive more and more of the future products through mainstream regulated channels.
MAIDsafe: This was the first project outside of Bitcoin I really dove into and studied in-depth. This project has been mostly quiet lately, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. MaidSafe was actually around before BTC was created and it adopted the Token sale model to get additional development funding as the technology became available. This is a long term play that would decentralize the entire internet if it succeeds, though it’s currently an asset riding on the blockchain, the project itself is something altogether different. The team is professional and dedicated so this position is staying on the HODL list, although I’m not expecting this particular rocket to blast off anytime soon.
Safe Exchange: This decentralized marketplace was originally designed to run on the MAIDSafe network. When it became clear the network wouldn’t be fully operational for some time the project creator choose to create their own marketplace platform using monero’s cryptonight techniques to ensure users privacy. A very large project started by a very small team, I get the feeling they bit off a bit more than they expected when they set out to build their own economy on a blockchain, but they have shown perseverance and determination so the project keeps chugging along. With a huge milestone marking the launch of the marketplace blockchain very close there is a lot to be excited about here. While it’s a long shot as an investment I find the vision of a decentralized marketplace very appealing and worthwhile endeavor to support.
Rialto: As an American I was very disappointed to hear they would not be letting anyone from the good ‘ole USA access their platform. I originally dubbed this project as akin to holding a wall street trading desk in your smart phone and it’s held true to it’s vision. This coin provides a unique way of diversifying as the XRL token is backed by some of the most popular cryptocurrencies out there and it’s still leading the pack when it comes to working financial services products in the cryptocurrency space. Even if they continue their America sanctions I have found some creative ways to legally gain access to their platform so this will be staying on the HODL list. Should not be a consideration for Americans unless you think we’re about to enter friendlier waters in the world geopolitical stage.
Veritaseum: Another financial services project that has run into frustrating regulatory hurdles. This project has recently announced city sized development projects they will be participating in on top of tokenizing physical precious metals. Oh, and they have already released the software that puts their best in class research to use automatically. If Rialto is a computer trading desk in your smart phone, Veritaseum could be thought of as a private investment fund in your smart phone. As soon as the regulatory hurdles are passed this project should hit the ground running and never look back. Though frustrating, I do not think the regulatory hurdles are permanent. The capacity of it’s host the Ethereum network is my only major concern for this projects future. This is one of the most solid HODL coins you’ll ever find in my own opinion, so long as you know how to use it.
EOS: This next generation blockchain has stumbled out of the gate but it’s mainnet is up and running and the airdrops I was originally so enticed by have begun trickling in. With the hype and spectacle of it’s launch out of the way I expect development to be very rapid for this new eco-system. Biggest risk I see around EOS is the parent company (block.one), if they were to lose control of that seed funding it would severely damage the value of the coins. EOS is still a HODL in my book, the code and network are decentralized and operating as advertised from my observation which counters the risk of centralized capital funding.
Pillar: This project could perhaps be thought of as competitor to the Crypto One Stop Solution project mentioned below, though without the profit distribution bonus. This is another coin of European origin which is restricting access to American users. I’m getting the feeling we’re not very well liked over the Atlantic, despite more negative attention directed towards China and Russia from within the United States. That same creative solution I mentioned with Rialto applies to Pillar, so it stays on the HODL list. A very promising project it’s a shame American citizens won’t have the opportunity to participate in unless things change sooner rather than later.
Kucoin: The original income generating exchange token I found, Kucoin has been hit just as hard as everything else in the first half 2018 crash but it’s still chugging away distributing dividends every day. An uncertain world political situation gives this coin it’s major downside risk, which is no small concern. A very active exchange adding new coins at a rapid rate and plenty of volume for all but the extra large sized accounts gives plenty to like about this project. Daily diversified income has a nice ring to it, this is staying on the HODL list despite regulatory uncertainty that needs to be monitored.
COSS: Crypto One Stop Solution is a very ambitious project out of Singapore which can best be described as a miniature financial system built to be a high volume artery of wealth transfer as financial connections between the blockchain powered New Economy and our existing economy are made. COSS distributes income generated from their exchange trading fees and their various marketplace transaction fees. This project has so much to like, from it’s working payouts platform to it’s all encompassing master development plan and much more. The biggest risk I see with COSS aside from the geopolitical ones previously mentioned would be Ethereum’s constrained transaction capacity. The products backing this token are working and there are plenty of expansions to look forward to. Though price isn’t very reflective of it, this is a horse close to the front of the pack in the long race. No way I take this off the HODL list.
Crypto-Bridge: While the previous two projects represent centralized business utilizing blockchain powered platforms to gain some serious advantage, if not completely new capabilities over their old economy competitors, Crypto-Bridge represents a more decentralized version of this concept. The additional incentive of the market maker payouts give this coin a unique twist, especially with the tools like DexBot that are becoming publicly available. If you’re looking for high volumes and stacked order books this isn’t the place for you. This project doesn’t face the transaction problems of those running on Ethereum network nor does it have the regulatory issues of the centralized business tokens I go over above. In many ways I am starting to think this is one of the least risky income producing coins available.
Steemit: Not many people know what Steemit really is, even many of those who use the revolutionary platform don’t seem to know what it really is. There are several concerns I have, which I describe in much more detail in a soon to be published ‘The Problems and Potential of Steemit’. Steemit is an entire digital economy specific to removing the middlemen between the educators or entertainers and their audience. This means the real value of the exchanges are kept between the author and their audience. Though very abstract this is a significant number, you’d be surprised at what your personal data gets sold for. While I’ve gone into detail about using Steemit as an investment or financial tool I really like the platform as an easy way to step into the New Economy from the old. Already boasting plenty of Tx/Sec horsepower, Steemit is far and away the most developed project in the digital media space and one of the most mature of any blockchain project out there not named Bitcoin. A HODL if there ever was one.
So I look back through my picks and I still see the reasons I decided to hold these coins in the first place. There are plenty of more projects that I’ve decided to add to the HODL list since I first decided to expand from Bitcoin and Ethereum into the altcoins. That is one of the most exciting parts of the New Economy, it’s so much potential at this point only the smallest fraction of that has transitioned into production. While it’s sure to be a wild ride, the future and opportunity for decentralized wealth and income is very bright.
Of the 10 projects I originally selected I am actively using 5 (STM, BCO, COSS, KCS, EOS) and they are performing as advertised and developing rapidly. 3 of the projects are currently inaccessible due to regulatory restrictions (Veritaseum, Rialto, Pillar) although both Veri and Rialto offer functional products and services I would very much like to be using. The remaining 2 projects (Safe Exchange & MAIDSafe) are still under development.